Bellator 80 kicks off tonight and features the return of former champ Joe Warren, who takes on Owen Evinger. A pair of tournament semifinals will also take place, as Vinicius Queiroz meets Alexander Volkov in the heavyweight tournament and Wagnney Fabiano takes on Rad Martinez in the featherweight tournament. The fourth and final main card affair consists of Darryl Cobb vs. Brett Cooper in a middleweight bout.
The live video stream is embedded for your viewing pleasure just below; the preliminary card starts at 7:00 p.m. ET and the main card and live play-by-play begins at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Joe Warren (135.6) vs. Owen Evinger (135.2)
Heavyweight Tournament Semifinals Fight: Vinicius Queiroz (240.5) vs. Alexander Volkov (226)
Featherweight Tournament Semifinals Fight: Wagnney Fabiano (146) vs. Rad Martinez (145.8)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Darryl Cobb (185.2) vs. Brett Cooper (185.8)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Mitchel Quinones (154.6) vs. Brandon Girtz (156)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Robert Otani (170.8) vs. Cristiano Souza (170)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Josh Quayhagen (169) vs. Cosmo Alexandre (168.2)
Catchweight Feature Fight(150): Sky Moiseichik (146.4) vs. Shannon Slack (149.2)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Joe Vedepo (185.4) vs. Mike Bernhard (185.6)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Ryan DeRocher (170) vs. Taylor Krahl (171)
Fight fans, we are live for Bellator 80's main card. Stay tuned after the show for Fraser Coffeen's results post with animated gifs of the action courtesy of Zombie Prophet. The main card play-by-play will follow in reverse chronological order.
Joe Warren vs. Owen Evinger
R1: Warren shoots almost immediately and Evinger struggles but staves it off. Warren is relentless and shoots again, this time getting the double. Evinger tries to create space with his hips but Warren pushes him against the fence. Warren picks Evinger, apparently for a slam, but Evinger cleverly sets his feet down to stand and break free. His freedom is brief, as Warren bull-dogs him back down to the canvas.
Warren plows his way to full mount and actually almost locks up an armbar when Evinger rolls out. He pays for failed attempt and Evinger now takes full mount. The same thing occurs, only Evinger pursues a rear-naked choke as Warren spins out of mount, but Warren breaks his grip and puts him on his back again. Commentator Jimmy Smith comically explains the significance of the "self-proclaimed" that precedes Warren's "Baddest Man on the Planet" moniker. Meanwhile, Warren prioritizes control to contain Evinger without a lot of threatening offense. 10-10 round for an equal amount of effective offense.
R2: I'll be damned if Joe Warren didn't just throw a spinning back kick? Warren barrels in with a power double. He's able to take Evinger's back again and tries to lace in an arm triangle but his back control is too lose and he bails on it to stay on top in full mount. Nice display of improvement from Warren by attacking well with submissions. He gets head and arm control and is actually in position for a mounted Ezekiel choke. Evinger being just feisty enough to make Warren work to stay on top; he loses mount into half guard.
Knees to the body from Warren from a high half guard. Not a ton of frightening striking but some very dominant control from Warren. 10-9 Warren.
R3: I saw it for sure this time: Warren throws a spinning back fist to open the 3rd. A minute in and Evinger is buried underneath him and almost giving up another arm triangle. Warren gets a strong base and slips his leg out to pass to side control; Evinger gets a hook back in with half guard. Warren pressing his forehead into Evinger's chest, hooking his neck with one arm and trying to power-pass his guard.
It's a long battle for half guard position and Warren ends up winning and gets into side control. He underhooks the near arm, postures down and steps over to full mount. Evinger bucks him off for enough space to regain half guard and the battle starts over again as the crowd becomes restless. Warren is all over Evinger and slamming down the occasional elbow. 10-9 Warren for a 30-27 count overall.
The judges see it the same -- Joe Warren defeats Owen Evinger by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3).
Vinicius Queiroz vs. Alexander Volkov
R1: They trade evenly for the first minute and Volkov lands the first clean combo; a right, left, right. Queiroz hits a takedown and Volkov closes his guard with strong underhooks. Super quick stand up by the ref, who also improperly warns Queiroz for legal use of his head. Volkov is fine with the stand up and lances a few punches through.
Queiroz is throwing an odd, lumbering lead left hook. Volkov pings a straight right through but Queiroz gets another takedown. Good wrist control from Volkov from the closed guard. Volkov preventing Queiroz from posturing up or throwing a single punch with excellent control. Queiroz finally gets his right hand free and fires it down. Referee inexplicably barking warnings for legal actions -- he warns Volkov for striking to the back of the head when they're landing clearly on top. Queiroz gets more punches off and evens out the round. 10-10 for neither fighter outperforming the other.
R2: Haha. Now the referee warns Queiroz's corner for some leftover swag in the ring that looks like ice. OK. Queiroz throwing heavy lefts in place and backing it up with a big right. They both connect on a mutual combination. Queiroz tries to time a double but Volkov scoots out of range. Busy jab from Volkov, who then keys off it with a right hook. Overhand right from Queiroz.
Now Volkov doubles up a long right hand and caps it off with jabs. Volkov switches to southpaw and slices a left, then goes back traditional and scores with a nice combo. Queiroz answers with another big right hand. Crunching right hand lands for Volkov and Queiroz staggers and then drops. Volkov is exceedingly patient and Queiroz recovers, gets back to his feet and hits a double. Wrist control and closed guard from Volkov, and the referee continues to embarrass himself by standing them up after about ten seconds. One of the all-time worst stand-ups in MMA history.
Adding insult to injury, Vokov uncorks a volley of punches that slowly buzz-saw Queiroz to the mat and trigger the finish.
Alexander Volkov defeats Vinicius Queiroz by TKO (totally incompetent refereeing), Round 2.
Wagnney Fabiano vs. Rad Martinez
R1: Heavy leather from a jacked Martinez to start the bout; Fabiano blocks them but the impact is apparent. Fabiano slips under a punch and nails a double, moving directly to side control, then snatching up the front headlock when Martinez gets to his knees. Martinez squirts free nicely and starts banging on the feet. Fabiano withstands the short flurry and then shoots a telegraphed double that Martinez sprawls on.
They trade knees in a fence clinch with Fabiano on the outside, then Martinez circles off and they switch spots. Martinez gets a warning for grabbing the fence. Martinez uses double underhooks to drive Fabiano on the fence, then releases and loosens more punches. Streaking overhand lefts from Martinez who easily shucks another double. Martinez sticking with double underhooks to control Fabiano on the fence. Fabiano counters with the Thai plum and then shakes free when Martinez adjusts his grip to defend. Martinez winning the exchanges by a narrow margin and seeming to throw heavier shots. 10-9 Martinez for the higher volume of more effective offense.
R2: Martinez sticks a stiff right in Fabiano's face that wobbles him. Lunging 3 punch combo from Martinez, who's steering Fabiano back with punches. Fabiano clinches up and Martinez once again gets control with underhooks to circle Fabiano onto the fence. They separate and Fabiano lands a short knee; it either stuns Martinez or he slipped. More overhand left centered combos from Martinez.
Martinez goes downstairs with his left and follows with a rear-leg stomp kick. Martinez reading Fabiano's takedown attempts and dotting him up on the feet with a minute left. Fabiano is active but rarely hitting the mark and only landing with light power when he does. Martinez torques more lefts to the head and body while mixing in jabs and low kicks. He stuffs another Fabiano takedown at the bell. 10-9 Martinez.
R3: Body kick from Martinez. Martinez still the busier striker and landing heavy blows. Fabiano goes body and head with a right hook but eats a counter in return. Fabiano taps Martinez again with a long right. They clinch and Martinez walks Fabiano to the fence with his trusty underhooks. He gets the body lock and slams knees to Fabiano's inner thigh, then breaks the clinch with punches.
Body kick from Fabiano and another left downstairs from Martinez. Fabiano just can't get the takedown and has no answer for Martinez' underhooks in tie ups. Balanced left straight and right hook from Martinez, then more pressure with more punches. Martinez unreels a series of lefts that land flush and he pounces with more combos. 10-9 Martinez; 30-27 his way on my card.
The judges have it 29-28 twice and 30-27 for Rad Martinez, who defeats Wagnney Fabiano by unanimous decision.
Darryl Cobb vs. Brett Cooper
R1: Both fighters prod with jabs in a feeling-out period. Cooper shoots 30 seconds in and gets temporarily blocked on a double leg, but stays on it and puts Cobb on his back. Cobb almost squirts free but Cooper contains him and passes to side control. Cooper fishes for a loose kimura as Cobb rolls onto his knees but can't get it and they're back standing. Lead uppercut by Cooper, who's assuming the stalking role while Cobb tries to counter. Cooper nails another takedown but this time punishes Cobb with a downpour of busy strikes. Cooper stays on the trigger with frenetic ground-and-pound, pausing to only capture Cobb halfway through an escape attempt and drive him back down to the canvas.
Great hips by Cobb, who boots Cooper away to make space and then deftly takes a knee to stand. Cooper is relentless and plugs a right hand through before landing another definitive takedown. Serious-business type of ground-and-pound once again ensues from Cooper. The pace slows and Cooper actually stands up despite having side control. He re-engages with more ground flurries to close a strong round. 10-8 Cooper for sheer domination and not a shred of threatening offense from Cobb.
R2: Cooper comes out swinging again but at a much more measured pace. Cobb retreating and having trouble timing his counters. Until now -- he lands a decent right and then flings an uppercut and left hook through. Cooper responds with a power double and, after a short pause to gather himself, more vicious punishment with both hands from the top. Now a short, thwacking elbow to the head and more punches. Cobb seeking wrist control but Cooper is throwing rights and lefts to the body and head.
Cooper keeps the heat on though the punches are higher volume and with less mustard. Cobb's hips are still and his only defense is trying to grab wrist control, and he's taking a beating from his back but starting to trash talk a little with Cooper. Total domination by Cooper once again and almost zero offense from Cobb. 10-8.
R3: Cooper goes jab-hook, Cobb unreels a combo and follows with 2 kicks. Cooper shoots but Cobb finally gets his hips back with an underhook to stay afoot. It's temporary, as Cooper persists and forces Cobb to fight from his guard. Cooper is understandably wearing down after his insane pace earlier but still holding control and staying busy enough with strikes to avoid a stand up.
Cobb is virtually paralyzed from the waist down with his hips frozen to the mat, eating a steady of diet of leather. Cobb finally bursts free with less than a minute left and tries to capitalize with a series of heavy combinations. He gets caught with his feet planted and taken down as the bell sounds. 10-9 Cooper (30-25 Cooper overall).